Graphics cards beware, a new style of OSX malware can hide in the RAM of GPUs

Nvidia Titan X video card angle
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

According to a research paper posted by an anonymous team of developers, a new form of malware has been created that’s capable of hiding inside the RAM component of Nvidia graphical processing units, or GPUs.

Previously, the WIN_JELLY malware was only functional in certain versions of Windows and Linux, but now the engineers responsible say they’ve successfully developed a new beast which is capable of breaking into OSX.

The infection works by installing a random access tool (RAT) inside of a video card’s memory, which can lay in wait for the operating system to make a request, at which point the Trojan attacks and installs a backdoor that allows for full control of the computer and all accounts inside.

For now the malware looks like it still exists merely in the realm of proof-of-concept, however we should still be wary now that the news is out in the wild. Members of the team say they have never been one to work with companies on shoring up their security, and we can’t imagine that this situation is any different.

The developers of JELLY have however made a point not to blame any one operating system in particular, or even Nvidia for that matter. Instead they say, the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the security software designed to stop these kinds of problems from proliferating. According to them, the reason their malware works is because there isn’t an antivirus program in existence designed to scan the RAM of a video card, and that practice needs to change.

The malware isn’t meant be a threat as much as it is a warning flare to the security industry that every part of a computer can be exploited if there’s enough money to be made in it, and security software will need to account for that going forward.